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Home / News / Summer Festival Malta: Simone Andrian wins Main Event for €153K

The Summer Festival Malta ran from 27 June to 2 July.



Reporting by Jan Kores

  • Simone Andrian prevails from 916 entries to win Summer Festival Main Event
  • Andrian banks €153,610 less than a month after scooping his first six-figure prize
  • Top 135 finishers share €879,360 in prize money

Italian player Simone Andrian took down the €1,100 PokerStars Summer Festival Malta 2023 Main Event. Andrian defeated the field of 916 entrants to claim the €153,610 top prize, his second six-figure payout in less than a month.

Andrian, 30, won back-to-back live events, coming out on top in Malta only weeks after he captured a WPT title in Sanremo.

“It doesn’t happen every day. I’m very happy,” Andrian said about his victories.

Entering the final day as the chip leader, Andrian was in a great spot with 11 players remaining.

While the leads changed multiple times on the final table, Andrian made it to heads up with a slightly bigger stack than that of Tommy Nguyen, his final opponent.

“I play a lot online and a lot of heads-up,” Andrian revealed.

The experience proved essential. Andrian slowly but steadily kept dipping into Nguyen’s stack, extending his advantage.

Ace-king against ace-queen wouldn’t win it for Andrian yet, but he was able to squeeze at least a chop to continue as a favourite.

The next all-in situation would have a different outcome. Andrian called off with a top pair on a jack-high flop and Nguyen failed to connect to his gutshot. Andrian was crowned champion and lifted the coveted silverware.

Simone Andrian’s the champion

“This is the most beautiful trophy. When I saw it for the first time, I thought, ‘I want it!'”

Andrian said he studied a lot in the last few months, which gave him confidence at the tables. “I still make a lot of mistakes, of course, but I think my game has improved,” he said.

There’s little time for the Italian champ to celebrate, though. He will stop in Rome for a day but then will be headed to Castellón to compete at Estrellas Poker Tour.

With the Summer Festival title under his belt, Andrian will surely be one of the players to watch next week in Spain.

Final table results:
1st – Simone Andrian, Italy, €153,610
2nd – Tommy Nguyen, Norway, €95,850
3rd – Marcin Lesniewski, Poland, €68,470
4th – David Docherty, United Kingdom, €52,660
5th – Fotios Ntamaris, Greece, €40,510
6th – Biger Larsen, Norway, €31,160
7th – Antoine Talvard, France, €23,970
8th – Eros Nastasi, Italy, €18,440
9th – Marco Regonaschi, Italy, €14,180

Friday, 30 June

Reporting by Jan Kores

  • 804 entries reported through starting flights in Summer Festival Main Event
  • Late registration remains open through level 12 (Friday, 2:20 p.m. CEST)
  • Enrico Olivieri leads ahead of Day 2

Enrico Olivieri topped Thursday’s Day 1D, the last starting flight of the €1,100 Summer Festival Malta Main Event, which pushed the tournament to 804 entries. Olivieri will come back to 375,000 in chips today at noon.

Day 1C, the biggest of the four heats, propelled Mario Magistro to 315,000, the largest stack from the 378 entrants.

Day 1a: 254 entries, 77 players advanced
Day 1b: 49 entries, 17 players advanced
Day 1c: 378 entries, 120 players advanced
Day 1d: 123 entries, 55 players advanced

David Lappin, Tommy Nguyen, Francesco Delfoco, Hael Al Labani, and Marius Gicovanu were among the well-known players who played on Thursday and advanced to the next stage.

Day 2 starts today at 12 pm CEST. Late registration remains open through two more levels, closing at 2:20 p.m. Prize pool and payout structure will be announced thereafter.

Live updates from the Main Event are available at PokerNews.

Tiago Luis leads after two starting flights in the Main Event


The €1,100 Main Event is underway at PokerStars Summer Festival Malta. Tiago Luis seized the chip lead after Day 1a, with more than 300 registrations already reported.

The Summer Festival Main Event saw 254 entrants compete on the opening starting flight. Portuguese player Tiago Luis vaulted into the provisional lead after bagging 340,000.

Luis was able to pull ahead of Maher Achour (335,500) and Louis Doufouler (281,000) at the end of today’s play.

One of the most renowned Italian players, Luca Moschitta also finds himself near the top of the standings. Moschitta finished Day 1a in 10th place, with 200,500, thanks to a late cooler with kings over tens.

Among the 77 players who navigated through to Day 2 was PokerStars Ambassador Felix Schneiders, albeit short-stacked with 30,000.

Day 1b followed on Wednesday evening, attracting 49 players to the felt with the levels shortened to 30 minutes. The faster structure propelled 18 runners into the next stage. Robert Sampat amassed the biggest stack with 176,500.

Day 1a: 254 entries, 77 players advanced
Day 1b: 49 entries, 17 players advanced

Two more starting days have been scheduled for the PokerStars Summer Festival Main Event; Day 1c starts at 12 p.m. CEST and Day 1d at 7 p.m. CEST.

Late registration will be open through the first two levels of Day 2, which gives players a chance to enter or re-enter until Friday afternoon.

Live updates from the Main Event are available at PokerNews.

Wednesday, 28 June

Reporting by Jan Kores

  • PokerStars Summer Festival Malta High Roller draws 155 entries
  • Fabio Peluso leads 24 players, all in the money
  • Prize pool stands at €297,600, payout structure to be announced before Day 2
Fabio Peluso playing at Summer Festival Malta

Fabio Peluso leads the way in the High Roller

Fabio Peluso will enter the final day of the PokerStars Summer Festival Malta €2,200 High Roller as the chip leader. The tournament drew 155 entrants, 24 of whom will return on Wednesday, June 28, at 2 pm local time to play down to a champion.

Peluso reported a stack of 627,000 when the bubble burst on Day 1A, fending off Guillermo Gordo (553,000) and Raoul Van Wersch (421,000) for the provisional chip lead.

With nearly $600,000 in live tournament winnings, Peluso is one of the more experienced players in the field. His best result came last year when he finished runner-up to Lucas Scafini in the FPS Monte Carlo Main Event for a whopping €217,340.

Day 1A saw 18 players make it through – from the initial field of 117 – to secure at least the minimum cash.

An additional six survivors advanced from Day 1B, which featured 38 runners. Pascal Foged amassed 284,000 to top the turbo flight, while former EPT Main Event finalist Ivan Banic pulled through the bubble with the shortest stack.

The remaining players will share €297,600 in prize money. The payout structure will be revealed before the High Roller resumes.

Last year, Ben Jones took down the inaugural PokerStars Summer Festival Malta High Roller for €75,190, prevailing from a field of 172 entries.

In other news, the €1,100 Main Event kicks off today with Day 1A beginning at 1 pm local time.


The Summer Festival Malta is back for 2023. As in 2022, the destination for fun in the sun is Malta, with the festival running 27 June – 2 July.

Whilst the focus for poker players flocking to the Mediterranean will no doubt be the €1,100 Main Event, anyone who has attended the PokerStars Summer Festival, either in Malta, or Marbella, will know that there will be plenty of activities off the felt to keep you entertained, should the poker not go as planned.

The festival will take place at the Intercontinental Hotel in St Julian’s, an area of Malta known for its many bars, restaurants and its proximity to the beach.

On The Table

We can tell you that the Main Event will have the standard €1,100 buy-in and for those who wish to bump the buy-in even higher, they’ll also be a €2,200 High Roller as part of the festival. For those looking to win their seat to the Main Event for a fraction of the price, the good news is that satellites to the Malta Summer Festival will start from Monday, March 27th with full packages up for grabs, which include a hotel room and expenses for flights included.

Whilst the full schedule is still being finalised a look back at the 2022 event will provide some clues as to what to expect. The 2022 edition had a total of 28 tournaments on the schedule (including satellites) with buy-ins ranging from €220 to €5,200. Popular events included the €440 NLHE Mystery Bounty and €275 Summer Kick off Knock Out.

Key Summer Festival Malta Events:

High Roller: June 27-28 – €2,200

Main Event: June 28 – July 2 – €1,100

Cup: June 30 – July 2 – €330

Live on Stars: June 30 – July 1 – €550

Super High Roller: July 1 – €5,300

The sunny island of Malta plays host to the Summer Festival this June and July


Off The Felt

Of course, one of the major attractions of holding a summer festival on an island that is known for being the sunniest country in Europe, basking under almost 3000 hours a year of sunshine, is that they’ll be plenty of fun in the sun to be had. With average temperatures of 28 to 31 degrees in June and July, be sure to pack the factor 40 along with your sunglasses.

As already mentioned, with the location in the heart of St Julian’s, with its plentiful bars and restaurants, there’s entertainment on tap. PokerStars will, as ever, also be putting on its own roster of activities for players and their +1’s.

The tournament team are still finalising the exact line-up for a flavour of what to expect, last year the players were treated to options including a catamaran trip, jetskiing, a Beerpong tournament and, of course, the ubiquitous Players’ Party.

If you prefer your activities to be a little more high brow, then Malta has you covered there too. There’s a wide array of cultural excursions – take a tour of Mdina, or a day trip to Gozo. Being an island, there’s also a wide array of water based activities, from diving to sightseeing cruises.  

All in all the Summer Festival is an ideal opportunity for anyone wanting to mix poker and a holiday, with affordable options on and off the felt. Full details of both will be announced in due course and you can win your Main Event package from Monday, March 27th.


Still umming and ahing about going to the Summer Festival Malta?

This article might help you make up your mind.

From its affordability to the incredible location, here are 10 reasons you should.

What Happened Last Year?

Players from near and far attended the festival with event winners hailing from Denmark, Italy, France, Poland, UK, Spain, Norway, Switzerland Hungary, Portugal and Bulgaria.

And it was Bulgaria’s Zlatin Penev who claimed the biggest title of them all, as he was crowned the Main Event champion claiming the top prize of €144,630. There were a total of 815 entries in the Main Event, creating a prize pool of €782,400. The top 119 players secured a return on their investment, eleven of whom cashed for five figures.

It was a cosmopolitan final table, seven different nationalities held a seat, with Italy the only country to have more than one representative. Everyone who pulled up a seat at the final table did so knowing they’d be walking away with at least €17,400. Canada’s Vadim Tsatskin made the podium, but had to settle for the bronze medal and €64,620. Whilst Krzysztof Michalik fell at the last, but still had an exceptional festival, winning €90,460.

They weren’t the only ones to book big scores, others to have every reason to look back on the Summer Festival with fondness are Ben Jones, who took down the High Roller, winning €75,190. Thomas Haverstad, who banked €22,710 for winning the €550 Deepstack and Karl Sandoff, who collected a total of €44,868 on his way to victory in the €440 Mystery Bounty.

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